Piles or Haemorrhoids, is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders seen by the general practitioners. There are several treatment methods available to cure it; chances of recurrence are high. Homeopathy gives long-lasting relief without any side-effect.
Piles, a common name for Haemorrhoids, is a common ailment among adults. More than half of men and women aged 50 years and older will develop piles symptoms during their lifetime. Piles is rare in children but now days several reports state the occurrence of piles in children, and in elderly people. About 75 percent of the population gets hemorrhoids at some point in their life.
What is Piles (Hemorrhoids)?
Piles are swollen veins and muscle around the anus or in the anal canal. The anal canal is a short, muscular tube with blood vessels that connects the rectum (back passage) with anus. Piles can develop when this tissue becomes swollen, possibly as a result of straining on the toilet. Sometimes, piles can be painful and bleed if they become damaged.
Piles are common during and after pregnancy. They may develop due to changes in the hormones (chemicals) in the body and the increased pressure in abdomen (tummy). They usually get better once the baby is born.
Types of Piles
Internal piles start inside your anal canal, but they might hang down and so come out your anus. Internal piles can be graded according to whether they come out your anus and – if so – how far they come out.
- First degree piles may bleed but don’t come out of your anus.
- Second degree piles come out of your anus when you have a bowel movement, but go back inside on their own afterwards.
- Third degree piles come out of your anus and only go back inside when you push them in.
- Fourth degree piles are always partly outside your anus and you can’t push them back in. They may become very swollen and painful if the blood inside them clots.
- External piles are swellings that develop further down your anal canal, closer to your anus. They can be very painful, especially if they have a blood clot in them.
Causes of Piles
Piles develop when the veins in your anal canal become swollen. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:
- increased pressure in your abdomen (tummy), for example when you’re pregnant or giving birth
- straining to empty your bowels, for example if you have constipation
- ageing – as you get older you may be more likely to get piles because your anal canal weakens
- diarrhoea lasting a long time
- long-term coughing
- having a family history of piles
Some factors make it more likely that piles you already have will start to cause problems. These include:
- frequently lifting heavy objects
- long periods of time sitting or travelling
- giving birth
Symptoms of Piles
Piles don’t always cause pain or other symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they can include:
- bleeding when you have a bowel movement – you may see blood on toilet paper or drips in the toilet or on your faeces
- a lump in or around your anus
- a slimy discharge of mucus from your anus, or leaking faeces
- a feeling that your bowels haven’t emptied completely
- itchy or sore skin around your anus
- pain and discomfort after a bowel movement (if you have external piles)
These symptoms may be caused by problems other than piles, such as inflammatory bowel disease, anal cancer, bowel cancer and an anal fissure (tear). If you have any of these symptoms, contact your doctor for advice.
Complications of Piles
Piles rarely cause serious problems but they can lead to some complications, such as those below.
- Ulcers can form on external piles.
- Skin tags can occur when the inside of a pile shrinks back but the skin remains.
- Mucus leaking from your anus can cause the surrounding skin to get very sore and damaged.
- Severe piles (fourth degree piles) can sometimes get strangulated, meaning they lose their blood supply. This can be very painful and cause the tissue to die.
- Thrombosed piles – this is where a blood clot forms within a pile, causing severe pain. This can be treated with a procedure to remove the clot.
- You may also find that your piles make you feel self-conscious (about having sex for example).
Homeopathic Treatment of Piles
Homeopathic medicines for piles offer an entirely safe and natural alternative to surgery. Homeopathic medicines permanently cure piles without surgical intervention. The conventional system of medicine, on the other hand, does not promise complete cure even after surgery.
Homeopathic medicines work at the constitutional level to set right disturbances in the venous systems that have caused piles in the first place. In fourth grade piles, however, complete recovery cannot be achieved though symptomatic relief can be provided. The sooner the patient approaches a Homeopath for treatment of piles, the higher the chances of complete recovery. Homeopathic medicines are made from natural substances and are, therefore, safe from any side-effects.
- A diet adequate in fibre, consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain cereals and bran should be taken.
- Drinking 10 to 12 glasses of fluids daily is very important.
- One should avoid diet rich in refined or junk foods.
- A low-fibre diet or inadequate fluid intake causes constipation, which contributes to piles in two ways: It encourages straining to have a bowel movement and it also aggravates the piles by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
- Excessive salt in the diet causes fluid retention, which means swelling in all veins, including piles.
- It is important to get into the habit of answering the call of nature so that stools are passed easily without much strain.
- Try not to sit for hours at a time. Take breaks and move around every hour for at least 5 minutes.
- Regular exercise is also important, especially if you work a sedentary job. Exercise helps in several ways: Keeping weight in check, making constipation less likely, and enhancing muscle tone.
- As you grow older it is wise to have a regular examination of your rectum and anus to eliminate the possibility of cancer or malignancy appearing in association with long-standing hemorrhoids/piles.